Getting on the Road to Whole Grains
Grain products, including whole grains, are best known for providing valuable fiber in the diet. Whole grains may help in weight loss and decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Grains come from cereal, bread, pasta, or rice. Eating whole grains is not a new way to eat, but a change to what you are used to. Making the change is not as hard as you may think. Here is an overview of how to get you and your family on the road to a healthier diet.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel. You may have heard of bran and (wheat) germ. They are parts of the whole grain.
Whole grains are available in a variety of foods such as pasta, cereal, breads, and crackers. They are best known for their fiber content, but they also supply important nutrients and are low in fat. In fact, whole grains are associated with many health benefits such as lower cholesterol, weight control, and prevention of illnesses like diabetes. Whole grains fill you up faster, and take longer to digest.
Many of the grain products that we eat are made from refined flour. This means the grain is processed to a point where some or all the nutritional value is gone. Sometimes nutrients are added back into the product but they are not as healthful as an unprocessed whole grain. This means we get the calories without gaining nutritional benefit.
You already eat foods made from grains, making your diet rich in whole grains will only require some fine tuning.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Brian P. Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.